Wednesday, September 30, 2009

15 ways to spark up your marriage
Fifteen Romantic "Time-Outs" for Parents
by Susie Michelle Cortright

Here are fifteen spontaneous time-outs, specially designed to help you pay the small attentions that are so integral to lasting intimacy.

Day One: Spend 15 minutes kissing. Many married couples report that the simple act of kissing is the first part of intimacy to disappear. Today, recapture the power of the smooch.

Day Two: Today, declare a personal moratorium on criticism. Pay attention to the number of negative thoughts you have about the actions of your spouse. How critical are you? How does being critical make you feel? Even when we don't give voice to our criticism, it drains our energy and keeps us focused on negative thoughts.

Day Three: Call, email, or write your mother-in-law (or send a simple bouquet of flowers). Let her know how grateful you are for her child.

Day Four: Spoon.

Day Five: Reflect on your first date with your mate, writing down as many details as you can remember. Now make plans to recreate it.

Day Six: Spend tonight in your guest room. Pretend that you and your spouse are on a romantic vacation in a distant port.

Day Seven: What's your spouse's favorite cookie? Bake a batch.

Day Eight: Tape-record a love message (sexy or sentimental) on a cassette tape. Put it in your spouse's car with a Post-it note that says "Play Me."

Day Nine: Declare today a "Forgiveness Day." Are you holding a grudge, however deep, about something your mate has done or said? Get to the bottom of it today. Then work on letting it go.

Day Ten: Assess your listening skills with your spouse. Just for today, slow down and try not to interrupt.

Day Eleven: Write a note and stash it where you know your spouse will find it some time throughout the day. This can be as simple as a lipstick kiss on a folded napkin or as elaborate as an original poem. (For a special touch, fold a Hershey's kiss inside.)

Day Twelve: Leave a sexy voice message on your mate's voicemail.

Day Thirteen: Trying to control your spouse can lead to feelings of resentment and disempowerment. Today, reflect on situations that make you want to control or manipulate. Then work on letting go.

Day Fourteen: List all the reasons you love your mate. For 15 minutes, just let your pen move. Don't stop to think too hard about the task. Just write. Then present your list.

Day Fifteen: Ask the kids to write down a few of the things they love about your parenting partner. Encourage them to be as specific as possible. Write them down on slips of paper, put them in an envelope and place it on your spouse's dashboard for a heartwarming surprise.

Now spend some time creating your own 15-minute romantic gifts for one another.


Copyright 2004 Susie Michelle Cortright

Susie Michelle Cortright is the author of Rekindling Your Romance after Kids and founder of, where busy moms find balance. Visit today for her free-course-by-email "Six Days to Less Stress" as well as special offers on affordable luxuries and tips to help you be the best mom you can be:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A planned return

My mom and I will return to my home soon. We have our plane tickets. I know dh will be happy to see me and I'll be delighted to see him as well as the girls. It's been a strange trip to California and will take awhile to digest all the nuances of it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The coming end of traditional university education?

I found this interesting article on the 'net this morning:

It compares newspapers and universities as entities that sell hard-to-get information. Just as the Internet has changed how we get our information, the article proposes there weill be changes in how we'll get our college degrees. It says the Ivys will last longer, but middle- and lower-level colleges without special things setting them apart are the most vulnerable to extinction.

It seems like universities such as Brigham Young University (in its three locations) would be more likely to survive because students go there for not only the academics but the social life. That's not going to change in the coming years, I don't think.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I had a special day this week

. . . and look what arrived at the door! The first came from my mom's dear friend. I'm not sure if they came from her garden or not, but if so, she grows the most nearly perfect roses I've ever seen. The second bouquet came from dh. Isn't he sweet? I felt very special to have all this attention paid to me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not much happening!

Life is very quiet and peaceful at my mom's house as compared to my own house. She had a medical test on Wednesday with the results to be revealed this coming Wednesday. I don't know why you have to wait that long for what I expect to straight-forward results. After Wednesday we'll decide whether I'll stay longer or if she should come home with me or if we'll make other plans. If she comes home with me we have to decide whether to drive or fly. Lots to think about.

Dh says the girls like their after-school program and when he picks them up their homework is DONE. That's probably his favorite part of the whole deal and I don't blame him! Homework is waaaayyyyyy reduced from last year (one page a day for C & E vs. the three to four they had in first grade) so it's already better. However, having that done when he picks them up lets dh focus on dinner and fun with them after work. I miss them all a lot. I miss all my kids, to tell the truth. Holly hasn't had a phone for a long time so I haven't actually talked to her in almost five months, just chatted via IM. I talk to David pretty often, but he's had a lot going on in his life and I haven't seen him since all that started. Kevin I saw recently, but I'm missing out on his Senior year. What a fun year for a kid on top of the world. :-)

So I'll content myself with various messages back and forth and with the nice visit I'm having with my mom.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Made it!

Well, if the second flight was overbooked, it didn't affect me. Lots of other people, including ones who had bought their tickets earlier in the week, had to get their seat assignments at the gate. The flight was full though. I had chatty seatmates both times and that helped the time pass quickly. I got my rental car very easily. I'd reserved it ahead of time, but the last time I did that they were so disorganized it still took me an hour and a half. This time I politely declined all the little ploys they use to part people with their money (Would you like to upgrade to a full-size car for only $10 a day? Would you like this extra insurance that would eliminate your deductible in case something happens? Would you like to rent a GPS unit for only $9.95 a day?) and was in my car within about 6 minutes. I got turned around coming out of the airport area but after a quick call to my mom, got headed the right direction and had an easy trip north to her house.

The number of orchards and other farming activities in California is amazing. I passed one orchard I'd never seen before which was Deseret Farms of California. The trees were new and it is certainly a welfare farm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For those not familiar with those, they are farms run by the Church with a LOT of donated labor and the food produced there is processed and donated to needy people both inside and outside the Mormon Church. I'll have to ask my parents how long that orchard has been there.

I'm settling in here for a bit, not sure how long. My mom's health is not good right now and she needs a little TLC.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I think I'm an "overbooked passenger"

Ugh! I'm taking two flights today. Got a seat assignment on the first and not on the second! I'm pretty sure that means I'm an overbooked passenger and now I have to hope for a no-show. I need to do some quick looking on the airline website to see what my rights are so I'll sound intelligent if necessary. Otherwise, no need to appear intelligent. Whew!! ;-)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My mom is sick

. . . and I'm a long way away. I'm not sure what to do about it. I called her this morning to talk to her about coming here to stay with us until she is better. I found her so weak she could hardly talk although I did get a little laugh out of her at one point. I had her give me the phone number of a friend and I called there to get some help for her. The friend is going to take her to the hospital and he arranged for another friend to meet them there and keep my mom company in the hospital until things get settled.

My mom is not overly sentimental and hasn't asked me to come out. She needs someone to take care of her though. If she is in a hospital or nursing home, she is being taken care of. I think she could use some moral support though, and when she is released, unless there is a BIG improvement, I think she needs to come to my house so I can keep an eye on her. Or even if she needs assisted living or a nursing home, well, that's what dh does for a living, so I'd rather have her here in town where we can both keep our eyes on her. The problem is the long distance and the transportation to get her here.

Right now I'm waiting to hear what is happening at the hospital. I have a lot to think about and try to figure out what is the best thing for everyone.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The amazing healing of a little leg

A couple of weeks ago C was headed over to the neighbor's house to play when she decided to walk along the top of the concrete block planter that runs across the front of our house. As you can see, she didn't quite make it. The scrape wasn't really deep, but it was so broad and so oozy that it caused her a lot of trouble.
It was so wide that the only way to really cover it was to use an Ace bandage with a 4x4 pad under it. Surprisingly, she left the bandaging alone. That surprised me.

Children being the fast little healers that they are, within a week or so she didn't need any bandaging and was well on her way to a complete healing. Thank goodness. No infection and it all looks great now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Great eats

Last night dh said my favorite words: let's go out to eat tonight. He wanted to go go La Salsa which is a chain of "fresh Mexican" food restaurants. After you order the food is prepared at a counter in front of you, like when you go to Subway sandwiches. I ordered a chicken and avocado thing which was like a New Mexico enchilada--flat instead of rolled. Here is the plate, plus I had a cup of delicious black beans on the side:This morning I was looking through the current Sunset magazine and came across a recipe for veggie stuffed shells. It looked kind of different, but accessable to me, not being any kind of gourmet cook. I didn't mention to dh that some of the vegetable ribbons were zucchini ribbons and he downed two shells worth. I added some crescent rolls and it was a great dinner.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A bit about the job I certified for

Someone asked for information about the job I'm hoping to start soon. The requirements are pretty specific for the job:

College graduate
Teacher, preferably at the high school or higher level
ESL teacher, accustomed to accents
Something else equally specific, but I can't remember what it was

By a stroke of luck I happened to fit all the requirements. I haven't actually started yet and am curious to see how it will all work.

Contact me privately if you want more information and I can tell you the company and point you toward their website. I applied about six months ago and finally heard from them about 4-6 weeks ago.